Born in Portland, Oregon, Phoebe Antrim resided in the Pacific Northwest for 38 years. The majestic beauty of the mountains and coast and her mother’s gardens were indelible early influences. A move to Virginia in 1981 — and the more intimate, gentle Piedmont — plus gardening, horses and wide travels play a role in the artist’s work. Painting and drawing as a child, she returned in retirement to study art.
Nature in all forms inspires Antrim’s beautiful watercolor and pen-and-ink works. She paints largely from life or memory, striving to express essence — the unique light of an Irish sky, the dance of a bouquet of tulips, a horse, or a bird. A twice-broken wrist prompted working in ink and drawing with her non-dominant hand for a period of years. “It began to free me from the tyranny of that perfection of a photograph. Drawing in ink leads me to a zen-like approach of quickly and simply expressing the life of a subject. There’s no going back over or erasing, so if it’s successful, the painting is alive.”
Antrim’s work has been juried into numerous regional shows. Her work is owned by some local corporations and many individual collectors from the West Coast to Virginia. “It is a great exploration and adventure. Painting has provoked a wider personal journey toward really seeing and toward authentic self-expression.”